starvation by Mark Prisco

suffering gives reason to believe

& not to. i’m bedevilled meanwhile

 

by symbols, images of death,

martyrdom, memory, the clump

 

of body blows, curved steel

on flesh; the severing of a boy’s

 

consciousness.

i choose not,

 

not because it’s rational,

but as protest.

 

i have striven not

for correctness, philosophic

 

consistency, but

to care less.

 

2

the ascetic starves himself, is

mean, walks barefoot

 

to the shops, on hot

sand; no

 

beach bum

tho, on the road

 

to morocco or

grey street, hamilton.

 

he, or she, has

discipline; skin,

 

bone; eyes

the size of

 

saucers, open

wide.

 

fool.

visionary!

 

3

& when it’s gone, you think:

‘did that happen?’, mouth

open – o, stupid! marco is

so stupid – o.

 

he might have lived – if

he’d played his cards

right – longer.

 

4

the stillness of the stem

held between two winds.

 

the silence of the morning.

 

birds resonate

like leaves on the plum tree;

mute, invisible.

 

this evanescent

miracle is nothing

 

really.

 

Originally posted on http://poetry.org.nz/percy64/starvation/

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